Placing Blame: Who Cares?

All of the media coverage and ‘blog opinion (even mine) about what’s going on w/ the 9/11 commission, testifying, etc. doesn’t really mean shit.

Whose “fault” was it? Doesn’t fucking matter. It happened. Now what?

The only thing from the past that matters is: who did it, and can they ever be held accountable for their actions? Other than that:

Whose “fault” was it? Was it absent, inaccurate or dismissed intelligence? Was it somebody (or an assembled cast of characters) in the Clinton or Bush administration(s)?

It doesn’t fucking matter. It happened. Now what?

What is America going to do about it? How will America and Our Policies protect Americans from another episode of unthinkable mass-murder? My guess is: not much more than we already have… which is jack shit.

The goal of all this commission shit should be to find out where the failure (or chain-reaction of failures) occurred in attempt to preclude it from recurring. The only reason it’s about blame?

It’s an election year.


9 thoughts on “Placing Blame: Who Cares?

  1. I couldn’t disagree more. In an election year, what matters is not only what happened, but why, and how the administration dealt with it. How the hell are we supposed to hold them accountable for their actions if we don’t make sure that we have somebody in charge who can get the job done? And how do we judge that? On past performance.

  2. The Illuminati wanna-be motherfuckers behind (w) have a shitty-enough track record (kids left behind, economy, jobs, Iraq, being assholes, etc.) to make the 9/11 commission’s blame game insignificant.

  3. I don’t get how figuring out where you went wrong (or making an effort) in order to make sure you don’t make the same mistakes twice can be “insignificant.” You ask “now what?” How are we to answer that question if we don’t know what happened in the first place?

  4. You’re missing my point entirely. My point was that the blame game that the media and the rest of us are assigning to the outcome of the proceedings is bullshit. Maybe I wasn’t as textually clear as I could have been.

    Who cares where the blame lies with regard to the failure? Except, perhaps, if the failure itself represents something actionable. Only then can “blame” be relevant.

    “The goal of all this commission shit should be to find out where the failure (or chain-reaction of failures) occurred in attempt to preclude it from recurring.”

    It has nothing to do with who fucked up… it has everything to do with how we keep ourselves, our government employees, and the Administration from fucking up in the same fashion in they days/months/years to come. Sure, we’d love to have some poor scapegoat to blame/damn/crucify for the horrors of 9/11. But by doing so, we’re all Lot’s wives… looking to the past for some sort of comfort or explanation.

    Now what? Keep the shit from happening again, regardless of who is to “blame”. Look forward for the safety of America. Don’t look to political bullshit or crutch on retrospect. Do something REAL.

  5. If you can explain to me how we figure out where the failure occurred without “blaming” someone, I will grant you your point. But, to my mind, if we’re going to identify the problems, we are inevitably also going to be identifying who was in charge of the various functions that failed to function and prevent this. Which, if not technicially, at least to the press and to the people so identified, equals blame. In sum: “who” is an inevitable if unnecessary byproduct to discovering “what,” and in some instances, “who” is so intertwined with “what,” that they are one and the same answer and cannot be separated.

  6. Granted, the “who” is inextricable from the “what” in the history books.

    But it’s the “what”, “how”, and “why” commission findings that will define what America does, and why and how America will (hopefully) react to preclude future attacks.

    The “who” doesn’t matter. The blame doesn’t matter. America needs to shit or get off the pot. By definition, blame excuses a lack of accountability. Maybe I reflexively avoided a traffic accident that would have killed one of the 19 terrorists on Sept. 10th. Am I to blame? Hyperbole, sure, but put shit in perspective w/r/t individuals vs. “the process” or “the channel” or “the bureaucracy”.

    So maybe we can pinpoint certain people whose individual actions contributed to the terrorists’ success (w/r/t their intentions) in the 9/11 attacks.

    How is blame going to help all of us Americans? Other than campaign-trail rhetoric?

  7. You still haven’t explained to me how these hearings are supposed to determine the “what” without identifying “who.” In determining, for example, that there was a communication breakdown between the FBI and CIA, we necessarily look at what information was essential that was not shared, and why. And the answer to the “why” is individual actions, policies designed by one administration or another, and how those policies were implemented from the top down. Why didn’t Richard Clarke know the FBI knew there were two Al-Qaeda representatives in the U.S.? That has a lot to do with the FBI Directors. Why did the FBI Directors think that this was an okay way to do business? That has a lot to do with directives and policy priorities of the White House, etc.

    Your problem with the Commission (if I understand it correctly) seems to be more about the testimony, which is predictably of a self-exculpatory nature (with the exception of Richard Clarke), than with the Commission’s stated purpose and existence itself. Is that fair?

  8. Right! Individual actions under the auspices of those policies and their implementation from the top down. So your “who” is going to be a long-ass list of people involved over the past 15 years or so. When, really, the policies and the method of implementation have failed for just as long, but never so publically as on 9/11.

    I don’t have a problem with the Commission at all. The impetus behind my original post, as stated, was the assignment of blame by the media and self-fashioned pundits like you and me.

    The problem is that everyone wants the Commission’s findings to be boiled down and packaged nicely so they can point a finger at a single entity (person, group, whatever). Everyone outside of politics (incl./esp. the media) wants to be able to condemn that single entity in a 60-point headline splashed across their mind. Everyone involved (at least those with political aspirations or agendas) also wants to be able to condemn that pretty little package… just as long as it’s not them, goddamnit!

    So blame blame blame. Not my fault, your fault! Not my fault, his fault. Not my fault, so vote for me, because it wasn’t my fault!

    Fuck all that. Fix the policies and the administration and oversight of them, and that long-ass list of faceless people will fall into line.

  9. Then we agree, essentially. I just don’t mind calling “it” blame. I think the blame game, for those who are really paying attention to the testimony is helpful. Think about it — how much would we really learn if everyone involved was singing the Barney song and refusing to identify what went wrong, for fear of also identifying who was in charge of that wrong move? Placing blame isn’t the problem. Idiots looking for one place to put the blame are the problem, I agree.

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